Acid Heroes

May 23, 2016

Semi-functional alcoholism



I’m generally a controlled drinker and a functional drunk. I usually drink the same amount of alcohol every night (around 80 to 100 ounces of malt liquor at 7.4% alcohol content) and usually at the same time every night. So I’m well familiar with the effects of the alcohol, and how to navigate safely through the ever-increasing state of drunkenness that, apparently, is my only remaining goal in life.

But every now and then I will slip up and go too far. I’ll drink a little too much, or I’ll drink a little too quickly. And I’ll suddenly (albeit dimly) realize: HOLY SHIT I AM WAY TOO DRUNK. And I turn into, technically speaking, a Stupid Fucking Drunk. I’ll find myself staggering down the street, bouncing off of walls, and shouting curses at passersby for reasons that make perfect sense at the time.

I remember one such night. WAY too drunk. I somehow managed to make it up to the general vicinity of my campsite in the Berkeley hills. But as I reached down to get the cardboard that I kept stashed behind a tree, I lost my balance. And fell face-first down the hill.

Fortunately, I had the cardboard directly under me. So it was a fairly smooth fall down the hill, like riding a toboggan. That is until I got to the creek at the bottom of the hill.

Fortunately for me, the creek was dry at the time. So the gods were on my side. But now the problem was, every time I tried to stand up I fell right back down. The ground was on a steep incline and the dirt and rocks kept crumbling under my feet. I made 7 or 8 valiant attempts to maintain an upright position. Until I finally concluded that the situation was hopeless. So I fell right down for the 9th time and wondered. What do I do now?

But then I came up with a seemingly brilliant solution to my dilemma. Why not sleep right there in the dry creek? I had my cardboard underneath me (which I used as my matting). And it was a warm summer night and I had a warm jacket on. So that’s what I did. I curled up and slept right there. And I slept rather peacefully and comfortably for several hours.

Until I was awoken a couple hours later by the sounds of my feral cats — somewhere off in the distance in the darkness — meowing loudly at me. Meows that no doubt translated into English as: “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING LAYING DOWN THERE IN THE DRY CREEK WHEN YOU SHOULD BE UP AT YOUR CAMPSITE FEEDING US DELICIOUS CANS OF CAT FOOD, YOU STUPID FUCKING IDIOT.”

By this time I had sobered up enough to master the laws of gravity. So I pulled myself up to an erect posture, crawled up the hill, made it to my campsite, fed my goddamn feral cats, and slept happily ever after.

But it wasn’t one of my finer moments.


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  1. You say semi functional alcoholic, but wouldn’t you be more of a hard drinker who tends to abuse alcohol? An alcoholic is one who has crossed that invisible line from abuse to dependence…you know, the types who need a drink first thing in the morning. This may just be splitting hairs.

    Comment by Jon — May 26, 2016 @ 2:08 am | Reply

    • Ya know, I dunno. There’s a lot of difference of opinions about what exactly is or isn’t an alcoholic. And I’ve always found it difficult to precisely nail down a definition of something as murky as “addictions.” I mean, do I do something because I’m addicted to doing it, or simply because I really like doing it? . . .

      At any rate, I’ve been drunk every night for the last 6 months. So I have no problem describing my behavior as a form of alcoholism, whatever that is.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — May 26, 2016 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

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